Herb gardening occupies a special place in the hearts of those who love food. Imagine being able to step out into your garden and harvest the exact herbs you need for any recipe? Cooking with freshly-picked herbs makes all the difference in your dishes, lending them more flavour and aroma than dried or store-bought varieties. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the essential herbs to grow and how to use them optimally in your cooking.
1. Growing an Abundance of Healing Herbs
Growing Healing Herbs is a rewarding experience that can bring abundance to gardens. Whether you’re looking to stock up your medicine cabinet or simply enjoy the beauty of these medicinal plants, understanding how to start an herb garden allows one to cultivate plants with healing properties.
In order to make sure your herbs flourish, consider the following:
- Choose plants that will thrive in your climate. Not all herbs grow in all areas, so consider your location before planting.
- Familiarize yourself with herbs and their uses before you decide what to cultivate. Understanding which herbs have the potential to assist in the healing process will enable you to take better advantage of their beneficial properties.
- Gather information on which soil type is most conducive to you herbs. Some prefer clay, while others do better in sandier conditions.
Most herbs do best in well-drained and evenly moist soil in a full sun environment. Once you’ve selected an ideal spot, be sure to use organic compost to increase the nutrient-rich level of your soil.
In addition to taking into account the needs of your chosen herbs, proper planting is essential to growing a successful crop. Consider planting in sections, placing short-lived herbs with long-lived herbs to maximize growth. Once you’ve planted your herbs, be sure to keep up with regular watering. This will help to ensure that your plants remain healthy and disease-free.
2. Planting Herbs Maximising Their Healing Benefits
When done correctly, planting herbs is a therapeutic activity that can result in healing benefits for the whole family. Not only are herbs an easy-to-grow addition to any kitchen garden, they’re also incredibly beneficial for our health and wellbeing. Here are some tips to bear in mind if you want to get the most out of your herb garden:
- Choose the right soil. Herbs require soil that’s nutrient-rich to supplement the nutrients they lack. If the soil in your garden is sandy, add a humus-based compost to it. When it comes to pH, herbs prefer a neutral pH of 6.5—any lower and the soil sugars won’t be able to break down properly, compromising the herb’s nutritional content.
- Position your garden in the right spot. Ideally, your herb patch should be in direct sunlight for at least part of the day. Too much shade will prevent the herbs from photosynthesizing, so bear this in mind when plotting their sunny space.
- Harvest under the right conditions. Since antioxidants are more potent right after the herb is cut, you should harvest the stems in the morning on a sunny day for maximum benefits. Best practice is to pick the leaves, flowers, and stalks from the same plant so you don’t exhaust the soil of the herb’s nutrients.
As for storing the harvested herbs, there are a few options depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re aiming to preserve medicinal value, freezing is the best way to go as it prevents the nutrients from breaking down. Alternatively, you can dry out the herbs for teas and culinary purposes. All that’s left now is for you to get your hands dirty and start reaping the healing benefits of your herb garden.
3. Recommended Essential Herbs to Grow
Growing herbs can be a rewarding and addicting hobby. Not only are they fun to nurture, but they produce some of the most fragrant and flavorful ingredients for any home chef. Here are a few of our recommended essential herbs for you to start growing.
- Rosemary: This robust herb is a classic favorite for many, as its fragrant aroma and flavor transforms many dishes. Plant with a sunny location in well-draining soil and water regularly but not too much.
- Basil: Have you ever made an Italian dish without this wonderful herb? This annual herb is truly indispensable, and best grown in a warm and sunny location. Plant in nutrient-rich soil and water when soil is dry to the touch.
- Mint: Refreshing and spicy-sweet, mint is a classic that can be easily grown indoors or out. This low-maintenance herb prefers a bit of shade and to have its soil kept evenly moist. It can grow surprisingly fast, and is easily spread with just a little care.
Once your herbs are established, simply snip away of any spare leaves to add to dishes or cocktails. Remember, with a little love and attention, your herbs will keep you provided with flavorful additions for years to come. Bon appetit!
4. Utilising Herbs in Everyday Life
1. Herbs in your Household and Cooking
Cooking with herbs is a great way to add flavour to your meals. Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano and parsley add a subtle depth to your cooking that can really bring a dish to life. Furthermore, adding herbs to your pantry also makes for an attractive, earthy display. When growing herbs indoors, start by adding those which are easy to keep alive, such as thyme and parsley.
2. Herbal Remedies
Herbal remedies have been used for centuries to treat various ailments, such as headaches and anxiety. Choose herbs with known health benefits, such as lavender, chamomile, cinnamon, and sage. Lavender, for example, can be used to promote restful sleep while chamomile tea can be used to soothe sore throats.
3. Aromatherapy and Herbal Oils
Herbal oils such as peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lavender are often used in aromatherapy, a form of alternative medicine. These oils have various health benefits, ranging from alleviating anxiety to improving mental focus. To reap the most benefit, use natural herb extracts or make your own herbal oils.
4. Aesthetics and Decorating with Herbs
Growing herbs is a great way to add colour and greenery to your home. Start with small pots of your favourite herbs on your window sill and you’ll soon find you have a miniature garden. You can even use herbs to decorate your home; bundle larger herbs together with ivy or other greenery and hang them on your walls for a rustic look.
Did you know that herbs aren’t just for cooking and adding flavorful accents to a dish? They can also make your home smell nice, give your garden a pop of color, and be used for natural medicine as well. Whether you’re an herb gardening enthusiast or a novice gardener, this article has the information you need to get the most use out of your herbs. So get outside, get your hands dirty, and watch your herbs take center stage in your garden.